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I built many castles in the air; Stanford Essay/ Experience


hannahdowdy 4 / 14 4  
Dec 26, 2012   #1
Prompt: Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." -Henry David Thoreau. The moment my English teacher introduced such a name into my life, I became enraptured. I knew, without a doubt, this is someone who I could identify with and I was caught- stuck in a web of such deep thought and reverie that it was impossible to escape. Nor did I want to wriggle free. Henry David Thoreau wished to "suck out all the marrow of life", to live deliberately and with cause. Which is precisely what I intend to do. I have built many castles in the air, each one magnificent in its own way, now all that is left is to make them touch the earth. Turn dreams into reality. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake," Henry Thoreau spoke to me with such depth that I wish to follow in a way that when I open my eyes one morning I realize that it is actuality that I am living in, not fantasy. I want to find substance, the marrow, and the inner workings of life and consume it. Live with purpose; be confident in my path and direction. Live the life I've always imagined, in my castle laid upon billowy wisps high in the air. "As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives," Henry David Thoreau has enveloped me mind and soul- in words and in spirit. How can a single mind affect me with such an immensity, I wish to never know the answer, but remain influenced without question.
ding377 1 / 29 2  
Dec 26, 2012   #2
"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake," I would end the sentence at the quote and then begin a new sentence with "Henry Thoreau..." Henry Thoreau spoke to me with such depth that I wish to follow in a way that when I open my eyes one morning I realize that it is actuality that I am living in, not fantasy.

I want to find the substance, the marrow, and the inner workings

Wow, your writing is amazing! I love your essay. The only criticism I have is the amount of quotes that you use within your essay. If you cut down on your quotes, I think you could spend more time talking about the impact of Thoreau on you rather than just his ideas.


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